Oklahoma football is set up for a title run in 2021 with a returning quarterback, an improving defense and the right head coach to get them there.
Oklahoma football’s success in the Cotton Bowl against Florida reaffirmed something that will have Sooner fans drooling over the prospect of the 2021 season: They look playoff-ready.
That certainly wasn’t the case earlier this season when Oklahoma fell to 1-2 with losses to Kansas State and Iowa State.
However, after eight straight wins, a Big 12 title and a Cotton Bowl statement, it’s time to start talking about Oklahoma as a national title contender.
Oklahoma football has the assets to compete for the national title in 2021
Why is 2021 the year for the Sooners? All the puzzle pieces are coming together.
Lincoln Riley will have a returning starter at quarterback for the first time since he took over as head coach in 2017.
Moreover, Spencer Rattler has found his feet after some early growing pains. The true freshman threw five interceptions in his first six games. He had just two in the final five.
The veteran offensive line could return largely intact while there remains a wealth of talent in the skill positions.
The defense was absolutely a problem for Oklahoma early in 2020, but defensive coordinator Alex Grinch got a handle on things by the second half of the season. They didn’t give up more than 21 points in a game after the start of November.
Looking around the rest of the country, major contenders will have holes to fill. Alabama’s Mac Jones, Clemson’s Trevor Lawrence and Ohio State’s Justin Fields should be off to the NFL, leaving their teams to find replacements. There will be a learning curve there.
Other more trusted programs will look to get in Oklahoma’s way. Just watch out for the Sooners.